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Thread: Road to Zion

  1. #46
    Veteran mafra's Avatar
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    Top 3 in losses all share the same odds.... right now, we are only 1 loss away from having most Ls in NBA.

  2. #47
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    21-9-2 for Zion (10-12 shooting) in third collegiate game.

  3. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by mafra View Post
    21-9-2 for Zion (10-12 shooting) in third collegiate game.
    The guy is shooting like between 80-90% FG% in 3 games right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tiger0330 View Post
    The guy is shooting like between 80-90% FG% in 3 games right?
    11-13, 11-14, 10-12 = 32-39 on the season. And they ain’t all dunks. People who claim he’ll struggle playing “against men his own size” obviously have never watched him play.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mafra View Post
    11-13, 11-14, 10-12 = 32-39 on the season. And they ain’t all dunks. People who claim he’ll struggle playing “against men his own size” obviously have never watched him play.
    82%. Among all the skills the guy has, his motor is unreal also.

  6. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiger0330 View Post
    82%. Among all the skills the guy has, his motor is unreal also.
    It is infectious... The joy he has. You see how he just inspires his teammates by his freakish athleticism. I’m surprised by how efficient his offensive game is. On to Maui Invitational

    I think Knicks would be a playoff team next year signing Kemba and drafting Zion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mafra View Post
    21-9-2 for Zion (10-12 shooting) in third collegiate game.

  8. #53
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    SI moved Zion up to number 1 in their mock going to the Hawks and us picking Barrett at 2.


    1. Hawks — Zion Williamson, Forward, Duke
    Age: 18.4 | Height: 6-7 | Weight: 285
    Williamson’s teammate RJ Barrett started the season as the top prospect on our Big Board, but if things continue apace, there’s a good chance he’ll be displaced Williamson himself. The 6-7 forward has been phenomenal to start the season, averaging 27.5 points, 11.5 rebounds, 3.5 blocks and 3.0 assists per contest through two games.
    At just 18 years old, Williamson possesses unmatched athleticism, an impressively high basketball IQ and the ability to generate efficient offense even without a consistent jumper. Pairing him with Trae Young in Atlanta would be a joy.
    2. Knicks — RJ Barrett, Wing, Duke
    Age: 18.4 | Height: 6-7 | Weight: 208
    Barrett hasn’t exactly done anything wrong to justify not going No. 1. He’s averaging 28.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game for the Blue Devils while showing off the collection of skills scouts already knew about alongside an improved jumper. He’d be a perfectly fine top pick.
    In New York, the 18-year-old would bring a valuable level of playmaking to a franchise that hasn’t finished in the top half of the league in offensive efficiency in five seasons. In particular, Barrett’s ball dominance could help Kevin Knox unlock his potential as a secondary creator on the perimeter.
    SCOUTING REPORTS: Barrett | Williamson
    3. Cavaliers — Nassir Little, Wing, North Carolina
    Age: 18.8 | Height: 6-7 | Weight: 215
    Little has been fighting for playing time on North Carolina’s stacked roster, and as such doesn’t have the same jaw-dropping per game numbers of Barrett and Williamson. Still, the 6-7 wing represents one of the more promising two-way prospects in the class. Notably, Little has already posted four steals and four blocks in just 64 minutes of court time this season.
    Cleveland is in need of a talent injection, and Little would help significantly.
    4. Suns — Cameron Reddish, Forward, Duke
    Age: 19.2 | Height: 6-9 | Weight: 205
    Reddish has shined in Duke’s first two outings primarily as a shooting threat from behind the arc. He’s attempted 21 3-pointers in just 55 minutes of court time, a rate that’s almost assuredly unsustainable over the course of a full season.
    On a more limited basis, Reddish has flashed his potential as a ball handler and offensive facilitator on the perimeter. Phoenix could use a bit more of that given the emphasis opposing defenses are able to place on Devin Booker in the status quo.

    5. Bulls — Quentin Grimes, Wing, Kansas
    Age: 18.5 | Height: 6-6 | Weight: 205
    This is an odd spot for Chicago, as its roster could significantly benefit from landing one of the draft’s top wings. Instead, the Bulls settle on Grimes here, a 6-6 combo guard with an improving outside shot and some perimeter playmaking skills.
    The 18-year-old unleashed a barrage of 3-pointers — making six of his 10 attempts — in the Jayhawks’ opening night win over Michigan State.

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  10. #55
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    ESPN Insider analysis of Zions game and whether it will translate in the NBA. He was 5-11 in the SDS game, so he isn't shooting 82% anymore but the game in Maui underscores that we should evaluate a full season of the kid before labeling him the next Lebron like Steve Kerr did. Trae last season had a blazing start drawing comparisons to Steph but defenses adjusted and perhaps fatigue caught up with him and he tailed off, Zion has the advantage of playing on perhaps the strongest Duke team they have had in years so perhaps NCAA defenses won't be able to adjust to stop him having to cover Barrett and Cam but if he has a standout year his performance has to be evaluated keeping in mind he played on a very talented team.

    Another factor that I mentioned is I don't think he has the ideal body type for an NBA player unlike the Freak who I have said does. Zion is reported as being as short as 6'6" and he's built like a football player not a bball player. His build is god given since he reportedly doesn't lift weights, so does he gain weight as he grows older which may add to injury risk and loss of athleticism.

    Despite the above, I'd love seeing another 17 win season to be able to draft him.



    Zion Williamson is shooting a remarkable 86.1 percent from 2-point range, wowing fans and NBA scouts alike with his powerful explosiveness and acrobatic finishes.

    There's no question that Williamson's affinity to tear down the rim has played a huge role in his efficiency. Eight of his 31 field goals inside the arc have been dunks assisted by his teammates -- but what about the other 23 makes? How is it that a 6-foot-6, 280-pound forward with only three made jumpers to his name is scoring at such a historically efficient rate?


    The answer lies in Williamson's brilliance with the ball, namely his ability to create high-percentage offense in the half court without needing the threat of a jump shot to set the table. The 18-year-old phenom has the slick dribble moves, polished footwork, powerful quickness and unique body control necessary to make even the most adept defenders look silly.

    So, what are Zion's go-to moves that make him such an effective shot-creator? And will they work at the next level?

    1. Return of the jump stop

    Few players in the basketball world use the jump stop as effectively as Williamson. A traditional jump stop isn't even taught by some modern coaches -- at least to guards, as the ability to whip one-handed, live-dribble passes on the move is at a premium. Coming to a complete stop in traffic takes away that option.
    But no other players can explode to the rim with this kind of force off a jump stop. For the Duke freshman, it's a devastating move given his ability to shed tackles and cover a tremendous amount of ground both going north-south and east-west before elevating:

    Williamson unleashes his lethal, lateral jump stop in transition, evading backpedaling defenders by hopping from left to right, turning sideways to get his left shoulder to the rim before leaping, readjusting his body and finishing with his left hand. He has Eurosteps as well, but it's Williamson's jump stop at his size that makes him such a force when he catches on the wing in transition.
    In the half court, he knifes through defenders with these hop steps as well. Once he gets to a clear launching pad, even the most effective rim protectors are toast:


    If Williamson gets by his initial defender on these aggressive left-hand drives, he uses hop steps as a counter, sweeping through the air back to his right rather than having to put the ball on the floor in traffic. He does an outstanding job of maintaining balance in a crowd to finish with touch shots from all different angles.
    Jump stops are also a great way for Williamson to brace for contact, helping him explode right to the front of the rim rather than fading away. A move like this can be predictable at the highest level, but because of just how strong and explosive Williamson is -- along with the benefits of NBA spacing -- his powerful jump stops should continue to wreak havoc on even some of the best defenses.

    2. Low-to-ground drives and counters

    On the wing or the midpost, Williamson is a load out of the triple-threat position. He generally sets defenders up with jabs before ripping through to his left hand and pushing off his back left foot while dipping his shoulder well below the chest of his defender.


    Williamson's first step is fast and powerful, and his ability to play with his chest almost parallel to the ground is unique for a player that size. It's one of the keys to his slashing attack from a standstill. Either set or off a live dribble, Williamson is hard to stop getting to that left hand, playing angles and using leverage to fend off smaller defenders:


    When that hard left-hand drive is taken away, Williamson generally counters with left-to-right behind-the-back dribbles -- one of his favorite moves in the half court. He showcases nimble footwork and a tight handle, changing directions in a pinch. Smaller defenders can't match his strength, and bigs can't stay in front, making him a near impossible cover.
    While somewhat predictable and easier to stop with NBA-level athletes, these behind-the-back counters are crisp -- simple yet effective, with little wasted movement:


    3. Change-of-pace series

    What makes Zion unique is his ability to shift gears on a dime. His change-of-pace series is quite advanced. The force at which he generates these moves is something we haven't seen, looking like he's shot out of a cannon to the rim at times.
    Here's a close look at how rapidly he's able to shift gears:


    He takes one hang dribble well beyond the NBA 3-point line then kicks it into high gear in the blink of an eye, pushing off that back left foot with a big right-leg step and needing only one dribble to get all the way to the rim. Just a remarkable display of quickness, power and stride length that figures to be a terror if Williamson is defended by NBA bigs.
    While a left-hand dominant finisher, he's really comfortable attacking to his right. He regularly rocks opponents to sleep with relaxed, high dribbles before shooting off that left foot, getting low to the ground and jolting toward the rim:

    Williamson freezes defenders with hard in-and-out dribbles as well. He has as much natural wiggle with the ball as we've ever seen from a 280-pounder:


    The most unstoppable of all might be Williamson's change-of-pace crossover, which has a similar feel to the move Ben Simmons so often breaks out. Zion leaves defenders in their tracks by walking the ball up casually before suddenly crossing over, once again exploding off the back foot and either gathering with a jump stop or striding it out off one foot.
    It's rare to see freakish leapers who are equally effective going off his right, left or both feet, but Williamson is truly an outlier in every sense of the word.

    It's one thing to change speeds at that size, but to then counter with an ultra-fast change of direction is rare.


    If Williamson is ever able to add any semblance of a pull-up game, he'll be unguardable. Even without the jumper, Williamson projects as a high-level shot-creator who can play angles. Given the fact that he's likely to start games at the 4 and finish some as a small-ball 5 in the NBA, there are only a handful of defenders who can even try to match his physicality and speed.
    His passing ability will also open up driving lanes, as defenders will be less inclined to help off their man if they know it'll result in an open lob or an uncontested 3. Shooting isn't the only way to space the floor, and Williamson's combination of ball-handling, explosiveness and vision figure to make him a challenging cover, even in the NBA.



    4. Post footwork

    Williamson can punish both switches and big post defenders alike. He doesn't have a turnaround game or even traditional jump hooks, but he's agile and deliberate with every move, regularly beating opponents to the spot with aggressive drop steps to his right shoulder:

    His post footwork is tremendous, as he generally wraps his right foot around his defenders' outside leg, gets low to the ground as he turns quickly and then explodes to the rim off that left foot as it swings around and hits the hardwood. He's able to cover a ton of ground with those drop steps, and he does a great job of contorting his body to lead with his outside foot rather than staying parallel and shooting a deeper jump hook. He can lean into touch finishes or drop in more basic short-rangers, but it's his sharp footwork that sets it all up.


    Williamson would benefit from adding a counter move, as he's right-shoulder dominant and NBA defenders are likely to pick up on his tendencies, but that shouldn't take him long. We haven't even seen Williamson operate from the midpost all that often, which is where he figures to be a nightmare cover.
    The real secret to all of Williamson's shot creation lies in his footwork, which is never more evident than in the post.





    What does this mean at the next level?

    We so often think of shot creation as a player's ability to go get to a pull-up jumper at will. That's certainly the case for most star NBA players. Would James Harden be such an isolation killer if he didn't have his patented step-back to get defenders leaning?
    But Zion is the exception to the rule. If defenders press up on him, he's sure-handed enough with the ball to blow by them. If help defenders slide over, he can pick teams apart with his passing. Then if defenders try to give him space, Williamson can get downhill with a full head of steam. As we see with Ben Simmons, giving players so physically gifted a cushion doesn't always work.

    Issues may arise, especially in the playoffs if there are other non-shooters on the floor, but Williamson has a much better chance of becoming at least a capable standstill and pull-up shooter than Simmons ever did. If Zion can ever start rising into these looks regularly, the rest of the NBA is in serious trouble:

    But Williamson is the draft's most dynamic shot creator anyway, even without the threat of a jumper. With a No. 1 pick, teams are looking for a player who can go get a bucket in the fourth quarter of a playoff game -- late clock, shrunken floor, against a switch or an all-NBA defender. Zion has shown he can do exactly that.

  11. #56
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    If the worst they can say is he ain’t LeBron... well, who is? He can’t loose weight? Improve his shot? Didn’t they say LeBron couldn’t shoot too?

    Did Barkley have the ideal NBA body type and weight?

    How many current NBA players are getting in his way, to take the charge?

    I understand the prospects are more likely to fizzle and bust than explode... still, Zion is the most impressive physical college 1-&-done prospect since Anthony Davis.

    I’m cool if Knicks get Zion or RJ.

  12. #57
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    LeBron at 18 was 6”7’, 245 pounds with 7 foot wingspans

    Zion at 18 is 6”7’, 285 pounds with 6”10’ wingspan

  13. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by KNICKS MOB View Post
    Niceee

    I've had this title in my head since 2005

    Lol Just saw this post now. Awesome.


    Sig made by Sons of Thunder

  14. #59
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    Gonzaga beat Duke 89-87. Zion 22 pts 8-17 10 RBs 4 blocks. His teammate RJ is a chucker 9-25 23 pts. Zion the better all around player over Barrett. Keep on eye on this kid Hachimura of Gonzaga, similar game to Zion, 20 pts 7-14 7RBs 3 blocks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RunningJumper View Post
    Lol Just saw this post now. Awesome.
    Haha, when i first saw the thread name i thought of the same song

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